House Votes to Kick Media Off Floor

House Votes to Kick Media Off Floor

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(Salt Lake City-AP) -- The news media won't be welcome on the House floor at the Utah Capitol after this session.

Representatives voted 38-to-29 to kick reporters off the floor .

The rule takes effect in July.

Representative Ron Bigelow says there's too much noise and commotion going on.

Most of the traffic comes from legislators' own staff, interns, pages and former legislators.

Representative James Ferrin says reporters rarely wander the floor.

But Bigelow says they shouldn't be there -- period.

The new rule allows only lawmakers, their family and staff, former legislators, the governor and lieutenant governor to roam the floor.

News reporters have to sit in their "bullpen" in a corner of the House chamber. It has only five seats for 150 members of the media who have credentials to cover the Legislature.

Reporters can go up to a second-floor balcony, but it's hard to see and hear what's going on from there.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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